Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) have been growing problems in most hospitals around the world and efforts to control and prevent it have proven to be difficult. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have contributed to the education and support of infection prevention and control (IPC) programs around the world. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is the standard bearer for Infection Preventionists internationally and boast of having over 15,000 members with a mission “to create a safer world through the prevention of infection” (n.d.). Globalization facilitated the introduction of new technologies, mixing of cultures and unfortunately spreading of potentially deadly microorganisms across continents within days and sometimes hours. This drives the need for all healthcare facilities to have dedicated IPC professionals.
There are five specific items I would like to expound upon:
1. Surveillance and Control of HAIs
2. IPC education components
3. Implementation of technology in the prevention and control of infections
4. IPC Audits and the role of department Link Champions
5. Environmental considerations
Attendees will be able to see the importance of nurses spearheading infection control programs and how nursing interventions can break the chain of infection and reduce HAIs in collaboration with various departments within a healthcare organization. My aim is to educate and empower nurses to be infection control champions, driving the zero HAI goals within their health facilities. The Infection Control department at the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital was able to reduce HAIs and promote a culture of safety within the organization. I will provide data on lower segment caesarean section (LSCS) and dialysis catheter and line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and how we were able to reduce our infection rates over a four-year period by more than 50%.